Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rebranding the U.S. With Obama

The reputation of the United States as a world leader is one of the reasons I listed for my support of Barack Obama. It was #9 on my list. I was glad to see a writer for the New York Times pick up on it, too. I've heard some say that the popularity of Barack Obama around the world is cause to be concerned. Why would Europeans or Middle Eastern people want Obama elected? Personally, I think the election of a black man (or a woman or a Latino or...) would elevate America in the eyes of our friends and enemies tremendously. Check out this article. It expands on the idea I put forth in my post. Powell Gets It: Rebranding U.S. with Obama


kc bob said...

This is one of the reasons that I am leaning left Brian.. I think that McCain may find a few diplomats to speak for him.. Obama seems to be a diplomat that will be able to speak for himself.

Someday said...

They liked Jimmy Carter too.
He sold the Panama Canal to Pananama, (now owned by the Chinese) He alienated Taiwan from the US by supporting Red China, He negotiated SALT II (that even a liberal congress would not ratify), He blew it in Iran by thinking they would create a Democracy and would be his friend, he wanted to evacuate South Korea, He was paralyzed when the Soviets decided to invade Afghanistan, he made us a laughing stock around the globe.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in the Neo-Con idea of dominating the globe militarily by any means. I don't like the idea of preemptive invasions at all. But I don't see how the politics of appeasement Obama talks about, that Jimmy Carter made so infamous, is going to do anything but get the US trampled on all over again.

It doesn't bother you that the world prefers a weak America, but it bothers me.
I believe in the "walk softly but carry a big stick" idea. But when the need arises, using that stick must be a viable alternative.
If appeasement is our game, the world will see it as a weakness and test us, just as Senator Biden has told us they will.

So this is just one more reason I am holding my nose and pulling the lever for McCain.


Brian said...


Once again, you have misrepresented Obama's position. This time on the use military force. I just happen to have finished that chapter in The Audacity of Hope yesterday. Obama does believe in preemptive military intervention provided there is an IMMINENT threat. He believes that, when possible, we should build consensus and try all other means first- for our good. The US needs to maintain our moral leadership in the world. A leadership that is rapidly eroding. But, he specifically says he will not hesitate to use military force if necessary to protect America regardless of international opinion.

Obama is not an appeaser. Like Kennedy, he will not negotiate out of fear, but he is not afraid to negotiate. He even says in his book (written in 2006) that we may have to increase military spending temporarily to repair the damage done to our military by the misguided war in Iraq and to reprioritize for the 21st century challenges.


Someday said...

Iran, for example, would love us to negotiate with them. And negotiate with them, and negotiate with them.

Hitler loved it when Churchill negotiated as well.

Putin too likes to hear Senator Obama say things like it was time for Georgia and Russia both to back off. Iran was encouraged by Senator Obama's call to abandon the Iraqi people.

I watch what they do, not just what they say. He says things that are plain naive such as what he has stated emphatically and unequivocally that he wishes to speak with terrorists without precondition within the first year of his presidency.
When faced with real situations, he fails.
This isn't the Senate.
This is the world.
People hate us.
They will hate us even if he negotiates with him.


Brian said...

OK. Someday, I do see I got your tone in your first post right. Yep, our enemies are going to hate us. No point in talking to them. Talking is no the same as negotiating, BTW. I know I used the word in the Kennedy quote. But, unless you are willing to talk to someone to tell them what you expect, it's a little difficult to expect them to change. Look at what thumbing our noses at North Korea and Iran have gotten us so far.

If you prefer someone who looks at the world through a lens of us versus them, shoot first and ask questions later, you've got your man. If you prefer someone who redistributes wealth from the poor and the middle class up to the rich (as the Bush policies have done over the last 8 years), you've got your man.

I look at our status in the world over the last 8 years and at our economic situation and I see a dismal failure. If you want more of the same, hold your nose, pull the lever for McCain and get ready for 4 more years of the same.

We're talking philosophical differences here, Someday. I simply am trying to keep you from mischaracterizing Obama's positions. If you prefer the Bush strategy for economic growth and for "diplomacy" (I'm sorry I had to put quotes around that), that's your choice and nothing I can say will convince you otherwise. I personally agree with Obama that the wealth of a nation should be built from bottom up, not top down. I agree that a strong middle class is not just a luxury but a necessity. And, I agree that talking with our enemies (walk softly but carry a big stick) does not make us weak but makes us morally stronger.


Someday said...

Brian, we are already negotiating with these guys. Low level.
He wants to personally sit down and have tea with terrorists.
Despite what the Obama media is telling you, McCain is not a neo-con. He has never preached shoot first, ask questions later.
That's more than a mild distortion of his record, or of anything he has taught.

I don't care what France thinks about us, I really don't.

As far as our economy goes, the conservatives have been warning this was going to happen, but Barney Frank and ACORN and their ilk said they were being racist.
President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times. Senator McCain cosponsored a bill to REGULATE them.

Who opposed it?


Brian said...


I do care what France and Germany and Iran (the people) and Iraq (the people) think about us. One of the ways we won the Cold War without firing a shot was by having better ideas, by taking the moral high ground and by having the support of the free world and people who yearned for justice. It's hard for us to tell other nations they should obey international law when we thumb our noses at it (read torture and going to war prematurely).

Having tea with someone is not capitulating, it's not negotiating and it's not showing weakness. It's showing humanity, civility and we can make demands while we're having tea without compromising our position one iota. I do not understand the fear of talking. I do not understand how it's "dangerous" to say we're going to meet with someone.

I see you're back to the financial meltdown again. Someday, that is just one in a bunch of problems we have right now most centered around the government and the American people both spending more than they had. To lay it all at the feet of ACORN and poor people who overbought is just way too simplistic and plain wrong. What about the people making $50,000/year buying $500,000 homes on all kinds of whacked mortgages? Is that ACRORN's fault? Are the derivative markets ACORN's fault?

BTW, the economic situation I was speaking of is the growing gap between the poor, the middle class and the very wealthy. The middle class is slowly going away, Someday. That is a problem.

John McCain is much more like George Bush than he is different as his own words have attested to many times before he decided Bush was too heavy a burden to carry through this election.


Tones said...

I thought this was interesting... at work, one of my primary roles is managing a vendor relationship with a IT development group in Tel Aviv. I thought I'd ask the VP (who lives in New York, but was born and raised in Israel) regarding his thoughts on an Obama victory and the impact it would have on international relations. He personally thought it was a very good thing, however, in Tel Aviv, to many an Obama victory is a sign that we are weakening.

A good friend from a previous project, (his nickname is Sidd) was born and raised in Saudi Arabia - his father lives in Bagdad. According to Sidd, an Obama victory is also a sign of weakening (I was suprised to hear this).

I don't know if it means anything, but I thought it was interesting. Europe is about 90% pro-Obama, so I believe that different cultures are going to have different opinions.

A re-branding will be a sign of strength in one neck of the woods, and a sign of weakness in another.

Brian said...

Fascinating, Tony. My best friend is a very (and I mean very) hawkish Jew. He hates Obama. Of course, he thinks we should have gone to war with Iran years ago and also you'd have to cover your ears if he started telling you what he thinks about Palestinians.

There are Jewish hawks and American hawks. I'm not a hawk, nor am I necessarily a dove. If you try to take what is mine, I'll defend myself. If you bully someone weaker than you, I'll stick up for her. I think America should live by those principles, too.

Yes, some will see a President who sees nuance, who wants to talk, who wants to build consensus as weak. Sure. But, what has the cowboy in the White House done for our international relations? Do you really think that Al Qaeda hasn't struck at us again because they're scared of George W. Bush?

I think presenting the face of reason to the world (which America used to present) is the only way we will the hearts and minds of the millions of Arabs who currently hate us as imperialistic lying hypocrites. And, ultimately, it is the only way we are going to win this war. It's not winnable with guns and tanks.


Tones said...

I agree - however, I also believe that the Bush administration HAS helped to prevent another hit on this country.

BTW, after hearing the Obama interview from 2005 on Chicago Public Radio, can you honestly say that the Obama agenda is not a socialist one?

I listened to it over and over again, and tried to keep an open mind. Judicial wealth re-distribution from the bench - it comes right out of Carl Marx's Manifesto (if you haven't read it, you'd find it fascinating)...

Brian said...


I have not listened to the entire interview. I will try to get the time. As I understand it thought while Obama is of the opinion that we need wealth redistribution, he does not believe it's up to the courts to provide it and that people who thought the struggle for the lower class was over because of Civil Rights victories are mistaken. They still need to work to achieve economic equal footing. The courts are not in the business of spreading the wealth around.

We have a country where tremendous amounts of wealth are in the hands of a very few. We also have a whole class of people who have not been given economic equal opportunity. As I understand Obama's agenda, it's not to take the wealth from the few and give it to the masses. It's to set up "ladders" of success as he calls them so people can climb out of poverty. If people call that socialist, then I'm a socialist, too.


"In this interview back in 2001, Obama was talking about the civil
rights movement and the kind of work that has to be done on the ground to make sure that everyone can live out the promise of equality," Obama
campaign spokesman Bill Burton says. "Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Obams's economic plan or his plan to give the middle class a tax cut.

Burton continues: "In the interview, Obama went into extensive detail to explain why the courts should not get into that business of 'redistributing' wealth. Obama's and what he called a tragedy was that legal victories in the Civil Rights led too many people to relyon the courts to change society for the better. That view is shared by conservative judges and legal scholars across the country.

"As Obama has said before and written about, he believes that change comes from the bottom up not from the corridors of Washington," Burton says. "He worked in struggling communities to improve the economic situation of people on the SouthSide of Chicago, who lost their jobs when the steel plants closed. And he worked as a legislator to provide tax relief and health care to middle-class families. And so Obama's
point was simply that if we want to improve economic conditions for
people in this country, we should do so by bringing people together at the community level and getting everyone involved in our democratic

Someday said...

Lol. Burton cracks me up.

He's just doing what he gets paid to do I suppose, so i can't condemn the man.

Incidentally, I didn't lay it "all at the feet" of poor people. I laid it at the feet of big government. Specifically, a government involved in social engineering. It allowed free credit for all. Not just poor people. The banks were enabled, and they began giving out loans to middle class people who were buying over their head as well.

But Democratic congressman did try to say it was racism to do anything about it. That's a fact. I have the audio thanks to C-Span.